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While vacationing with our family on Minnesota's beautiful North Shore of Lake Superior, our car suffered a mishap in a construction zone. A large rock tumbled out of the dump truck in front of us and before we could react or stop, we had driven over it, leaving a 5 inch hole in the oil pan. We immediately pulled over to Split Rock State Park, where I began searching for a tow service. Luckily, I had seen a tow truck assisting someone else at another Minnesota State park two days earlier, and I remembered the name: Blazers Auto Service. Using my smartphone, I ran a search on Google and discovered that:

  • a Blazers does not have a web site.
  • b. There are plenty of online reviews - SOME QUITE NEGATIVE - in various directories (Yahoo Local, Yelp, etc.) with the phone number.

Fast forward to the end of the story: Blazers towed our car, had a part shipped up to Silver Bay, MN (no mean feat), worked with our insurance company, and successfully repaired the vehicle. They were professional, friendly and competent - in short, a company I would highly recommend. I told the owner that I was going to post a review on Yelp, and in the ensuing conversation, it was clear that Blazers does not need a web site right now. As one of the few auto repair/tow services in that part of Minnesota, their customers find them through necessity.

However, the company is painfully aware that their online reputation is at the mercy of reviewers.

Further investigation showed that one negative review posted almost three years ago by a disgruntled customer (the review itself reads more like a rant) continues to mar Blazers' otherwise stellar online reputation. It showed up as the first review on Yahoo Local and impacts their ratings on many business directories. Blazers' owner was so concerned that he contacted a lawyer, who told him that there was nothing the company could do.

When I shared my ideas for helping to remedy this situation, the staff at Blazers were very excited to learn that they actually have options for managing their online reputation.